Where are all the younger poppy appeal tin rattlers?

I was out a few saturdays ago for an hour or two rattling a tin for the 25th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War, alongside an 80 year old Burma veteran and a 70 year old Ist WW veterans daughter. I had agreed to help as the local (Warwickshire) branch of the RBL struggles to get veterans from the younger generations (i.e 40 and below) to help out?

Why is this? We are still having casualties and deaths abroad, young guys and girls are still getting killed/injured/traumatised in combat or training and they and their families still count on RBL support.

Has anyone any thoughts about why this seems to be the case?

Can't speak for for what its like where you are..but no shortage of volunteers (of all ages) here in Wurzleland.
Problem is the RBL are still seen for the older veterans. The clubs in my area are full of older veterans and civvy low lifes after cheap booze and playing on the machines there.

Cannot see it changing anytime soon, i did sponsored march for RBL last year but will not be doing anything for them again. I do it for combat stress as they always appreciate it. RBL local branch did not say thanks or f*** all so sorry to say, but if i fundraise will be for c stress.

Also some not all, but the older veterans think the younger veterans myslef included are all whinging and whining. But times have changed and we are in the 21 st century. Times where harder back then, but lets look into the future.
Have to say I agree with the last poster.

I'm a big Legion suporter (my folks have run the local home area collections for about 30 years now, but have stood down on age grounds) and l did a big city one in 2005 when l was out of work for a bit.

I want to do the London Marathon next year, and plan to do so under the Combat Stress banner. Sadly, it seems more relevant to today's situation. That's probably unfair, but l'm not sure the Legion makes it well enough known what they provide for today's veterans.
I have to agree with Tommo, my local branch couldn't let me be a memberas the membership was full. I went to this branch with an ex-forces mate and he pointed out that 50% of the members are civvies who have never served and I was under the apprehension that it was there for ex-forces.
I think it is unfortunate that yes at the moment the RBL is struggling in reaching out to the younger generations. However, do you not think that (as I am assuming) reasonably 'young' people, we should all be making a bit of an effort to raise the awareness of what the RBL does?

If we all walk away and 'snub' the RBL, won't it only get worse?

I am running 10km races for the RBL because I believe in what they do (I have also run for combat stress). While many service personnel are returning with psychological problems, CS can only assist with those problems, whereas many personnel need physical/housing/financial assistance too.

My local RBL club doesn't know what I'm doing and I personally don't expect to be singled out for thanks - I'd rather they spent their time helping serving and ex personnel than on me.



Very pleased to see lots of young student type folk rattling tins hereabouts on the last poppy collection.

Perhaps it falls to the RBL to put speakers into schools and colleges to emphasise the importance?

There will always be conscientious individuals who will respond positively.


The problem lies in that there are two sides to the RBL.
The Welfare side, which is where the money from the Poppy Appeal goes and the clubs which everyone complains about.
Not every Legion Branch has a club, some villages have a Branch & meet in the local pub.
The Clubs are the thing that get most people's back up. As has already been said they are in the main a drinking den. Because of that they are struggling to survive. And because they are struggling to survive they try to attract more and more non ex-service & so the spiral continues, no doubt the smoking ban in England will hit some of them very hard & no bad thing!
...it would help if soldiers were given 12 months free membership of the RBL upon discharge & asked to complete a d/d mandate when they hand their ID card in.

(a no-brainer, but no one has acted since I first mentioned this more than a decade ago!)
Go to Derby Centre just before Rememberence Day and you will see the local EOD team collecting. Tend to do quite well as the kids love the Wheelbarrow.
The local army cadets in my area are out with the tins but I cringed when one of them walked up to every pensioner and shoved the tin under their noses - especially if they weren't wearing a poppy. I've been a collector & you get a better response if you just rattle the tin & make eye contact you don't need to challenge folk. Other cadets were that busy chasing each other round the shopping centre they weren't collecting at all, not sure they were aware why they were collecting

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